Litigation

Litigation — trials before juries or judges, arbitration, mediation and appeals — is at the core of Shatzkin & Mayer ‘s practice. We approach each litigation as if it will be tried in a court, projecting the confidence and experience that are critical to productive settlement discussions.

  • Brought a successful declaratory judgment action to defend a filmmaker’s right under copyright and privacy laws to use the musical compositions and recordings by a prominent Christian rock star in a critical biographical documentary film.
  • Won a multi-million dollar jury verdict for a U.K. book publisher against its U.S. distributor after a three-week trial in federal district court.
  • Won a multi-million dollar jury verdict in federal district court for an award-winning designer who had been locked out by his joint venturer, which exploited his designs without compensating or crediting him. The post-verdict settlement also provided for the closure of the former joint venturer’s competing business.
  • Won summary judgment dismissing a copyright infringement action brought against a documentary filmmaker on the ground of fair use and obtained an award of attorney’s fees.
  • Representing one of two filmmakers who fell out during the course of collaborating on a documentary film, defeated the other filmmaker’s attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction that was sought in order to prohibit interfere with our client’s right to make his own independent film about the subject matter.
  • Won summary judgment on all claims for an independent record company that was sued by one of its recording artists for copyright infringement, unfair competition, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained an arbitrator’s award against a top advertising agency, after a full evidentiary hearing, for the entire amount sought by a renowned design firm that produced television commercials for one of the ad agency’s accounts.
  • Negotiated a solution to a year-long impasse ending the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s shut-down of a carousel designed by our client for Riverbank State Park.
    On behalf of a French bank, located and attached U.S. earnings of a French celebrity against whom the bank had previously been unsuccessful in its attempts to collect on a large debt.
  • By obtaining preliminary injunctive relief and a seizure order, recovered a well-known photographer’s body of work which his former gallery had refused to turn over in violation of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.
  • Obtained a financial settlement after a week-long jury trial for a fashion photographer who sued his former business manager for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Won a dismissal in the lower court and affirmance on appeal of a literary agent’s claim for commissions on all income generated by book sales and theatrical productions of our client’s Obie Award-winning play.
  • On behalf of a Cuban-born drummer with charted Hit-Parade recordings, won dismissal of a lawsuit brought by his former manager’s widow seeking to commission the client’s income; then won affirmance on appeal.
  • Obtained a quick settlement of a filmmaker’s copyright claims against a television network and record company that exploited his work without authorization.
  • Represented the wife of a late-night television personality who had loaned her entire life savings to enable the purchase of a prime New York City property but never received the mortgage or other repayment documents promised in return; after one day of trial, entered into a substantial settlement.
  • After commencing litigation in the New York Surrogate’s Court on behalf of family members of a deceased artist whose executor had for five years failed to distribute their bequests, obtained the distribution of the Estate’s artworks.
  • Defeated a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction for trade-dress infringement and dilution brought by a New York real-estate empire against a start-up real-estate brokerage; the matter then quickly settled.
  • Represented artists’ estates and collectors in the bankruptcy proceedings and ancillary litigations arising out of the high-profile collapse of the Salander-O’Reilly art gallery.